Long Island City: Dare You Do Queens?

Long Island City is a NYC secret that actually hasn’t been a secret for several years. Waterfront views from luxury apartments, cultural attractions, and a vibrant restaurant scene are pluses that top the list for people thinking of moving here.

For the new to New York and NYC real estate noobs, here’s a news flash; Long Island City has been a neighborhood on the verge of a major boom for a long time. Located in the westernmost corner of Queens and bordered by Newton Creek, Sunny Side, Astoria, and the East River, Long Island City was primarily a commercial and industrial area with sprinkles of residential pockets thrown in. If you’d visited the location 10 years ago, you’d have seen condos sprouting up here in there, but you’d also have noticed that the area was lacking when it came to the basic neighborhood amenities people have come to associate with city life. For this reason, some people stayed away.

Fast forward to today, and you have streams of buyers and renters moving into a neighborhood that has upped its amenity game while providing an even wider selection of luxury residential options. Is it worth it? Let’s see.

Who’s It Great For?

LIC is great for people who want to live the Manhattan lifestyle without living in Manhattan. Many apartments boast expansive skyline views of the type that are difficult to score when living in Manhattan proper. If you dream of nights sipping wine on your balcony after a long day at work as you watch the twinkling lights of the city turn on as the sun turns off, Long Island City is for you. Long Island City is also great for families, thanks to the growing number of family focused activities.

What Is There to Do?

Once upon a time there was nothing to do in LIC. People loved their homes, but for excitement, they trekked into Brooklyn or Manhattan. What a difference a decade makes! Now, tourists of every stripe (including those from Brooklyn and Manhattan), hop a train or take a ferry over to take advantage of the growing number of goodies LIC has to offer. You love art? You’ll adore the MoMA PS1. This former schoolhouse is home to some of the coolest art exhibits in town, complete with weekly dance music parties. The Sculpture Center is an art space ensconced in what used to be a trolley repair shop, and it provides the perfect backdrop for new and established artists to show off their wares. If you’re hungry, numerous, awesome restaurants abound, many of them so good that people flock in from other boroughs to nosh and hang out. Corner Bistro on Vernon is one of the best places in the nabe to grab the perfect burger, while Mu Ramen is the best place to get savory broth to warm up icy, cold days.

What’s the Commute Like?

Life in LIC moves at a slightly slower pace than neighborhoods right across the river, but if you need to turn up the volume on your day, the city is a few stops away, thanks to the G, M, N, R, Q, 7, E, and F trains. If you work in Midtown, you can be at Grand Central in as little as — get this — five minutes. You can also take the East River Ferry, a seven-stop boat ride that runs on the East River between Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. One-way single ride fares are $4 ($6 on weekends) with a $1 bike charge.

How Much Is It?

Rents, on average, range from around $2,400 for studios to a little over $3,650 and up for two bedrooms.

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